Frequently Asked Questions about Incorporating One Health Concepts

1. Help! I'm supposed to incorporate One Health into my curriculum. Where do I start?

2. Doesn't there have to be an animal health component to "count" as One Health?

3. There seems to be few places to incorporate One Health into my program. Do I need to be doing as much as the other programs are doing?

4. I teach or conduct research in the Basic Sciences. How do I incorporate One Health?

5. I teach or conduct research in Osteopathic Medicine. How do I incorporate One Health?

6. I teach or conduct research in Dental Medicine.  How do I incorporate One Health?

7. I teach or conduct research in Pharmacy.  How do I incorporate One Health?

8. I teach or conduct research in Optometry.  How do I incorporate One Health?

9. I teach or conduct research in PT/OT.  How do I incorporate One Health?

10. I teach or conduct research in Clinical Psychology.  How do I incorporate One Health?

11. What kinds of activities am I supposed to report for the MWU One Health Activities Report?

1.The best place to start is to consider what you are already doing in your program that is One Health even if you aren't calling it that. For example, do you invite guest lecturers from other programs and healthcare disciplines to teach in your class?That's One Health. When teaching about a particular disease, i.e., diabetes, do you address clinical manifestations related to other organ systems (human health) or the role of diet and exercise (environment)? Those are One Health concepts.



2. Not necessarily. While One Health encompasses human, animal, and environmental health, these elements may not play equal roles for a given healthcare concern. For example, the environment frequently plays a major role in health. Asking questions about the patient's home environment, diet, pet ownership, activities and hobbies, etc. will often reveal important information useful in diagnostic and treatment planning. Alternatively, instructing patients on the proper way to dispose of unused medication could have important implications for environmental health. Neither of these examples involves animal health specifically, but both are examples of a One Health approach.

That said, keep in mind that the vast majority of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, and many chronic diseases experienced by animals and people alike. Our students should be aware of this throughout their basic science and clinical curricula.



3. Not every topic area our students study nor every health care discipline is equally amenable to a discussion of One Health.; Therefore, One Health concepts should be incorporated into the curriculum where there is a natural fit, and this will vary from one program to another.



4. Some examples where the Basic Sciences and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Discussion of comparative anatomy examples as they relate to disease or dysfunction
  • Study of bacterial and viral pathogens that are zoonotic, or environmental factors contributing to emergence of new pathogens
  • Comparative research of a disease (e.g., cancer) affecting humans and animals



5. Some examples where Osteopathic Medicine and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Study of complex public health issues such as obesity, mental/behavioral health, domestic violence, or disaster situations in a holistic context
  • Important role of the human-animal bond in health maintenance, disease management, and physical/emotional well being
  • Guest lectures to discuss ocular or dental manifestations of systemic disease
  • Discussion of multidisciplinary approaches to pain management  



6. Some examples where Dental Medicine and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Discussion of impact of diet on oral health
  • Addressing rationale behind history taking in the clinical setting; impact of systemic disease on dental care 
  • Discussion of dental conditions as manifestations of systemic disease



7.Some examples where Pharmacy and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Discussion of drug disposal and its impact on the environment
  • Discussion of drug compounding rules and implications for human and veterinary medical practice 
  • Discussion of prescription drug abuse including abuse of veterinary anesthetic drugs such as ketamine



8. Some examples where Optometry and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Teaching ophthalmic exam techniques to medical students
  • Guest lectures to other programs to teach the ocular manifestations of disease



9.Some examples where PT/OT and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Addressing social and attitudinal environmental factors impacting physical and occupational therapy plans
  • Role of service animals for disabled patients
  • Guest lectures to other programs to teach how PT/OT is used as an adjunct therapy for many diseases



10. Some examples where Clinical Psychology and One Health concepts intersect are:

  • Role of emotional support animals
  • Multidisciplinary discussion of mental health and its relationship with chronic disease states
  • Addressing psychological factors related to compliance with medical advice.



11. Reportable One Health activities:

  • Multidisciplinary instruction - guest lecturers from other disciplines that provide different perspectives, contexts, therapies, techniques, etc.
  • Multidisciplinary learning - students from different programs working and/or learning together on common disease conditions or therapies
  • Addressing the environment (physical, social, attitudinal) - gathering comprehensive environmental information through history-taking, developing prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation plans
  • Interdisciplinary conference attendance
  • Interprofessional research - investigators (students and/or faculty) from different disciplines working together on a research project
  • IPE courses or individual lectures/seminars
  • Comparative (inter-/multi-species) medicine instruction or research

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